29 September 2006

NIGERIA : Zenith League - Customs, Ahip in Opening Match

By Pius Ayinor

The final national play off for the Zenith Bank Female Basketball League takes the first jump ball on Sunday at the National Stadium, Lagos with the top eight teams from the Conference play offs featuring. The officials of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) and their sponsors Zenith Bank confirmed the details to THISDAYSports yesterday.

By the schedule, the Independence Day battle would commence with the game between one time national champions Customs and AHIP of Kano. This game is billed to start off at midday and would thereafter be followed by three other matches.

In the next game, which follows immediately after, Delta Force of Asaba would face Sunshine Angels of Akure which finished in second position from the Losers Conference play off held in Abuja last month. On paper, the Delta girls look very good to take the full points.

The third match of the opening day is between defending champions First Bank and Immigration which won the Savannah Conference play off held in Bauchi. On paper and on ground, the Elephant Girls are certain to win and a win by Immigration would be seen as an upset. The day's event would be wrapped up with the game between Atlantic champions, the Blue Angels and Dolphins of Lagos. This fixture is certainly the most balanced of all four games and would take more than the crystal ball to predict the winners. Dolphins finished as champions of the Losers zone.The championship would hold daily for the following six days and be wrapped up the following weekend and four matches as well but the matches for the closing day would commence by 9.30am.

Two teams qualified from the four conferences to make up the eight teams who remain together to form the division one cadre for the female league. The lesser teams have been stepped down to the next division with effect from the next season expected to start off by next month. The conference qualifiers began July 3rd with the first stage held in Asaba, before Akure, Bauchi and Abuja took their turns.

The winners of the league and their runners up would represent Nigeria in the next FIBA Africa Club championship for female teams.


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